Centre for Continuing Education

Documentary Course: Introduction to Producing and Directing

Film. Focus on cinema.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses both online and in-person. Please check the delivery format for each class before you enrol.

Please note that course materials for all classes (excluding prescribed textbooks) are shared electronically within 48 hours of a course starting. Printing is not available.

Before making a great documentary, journalists and filmmakers need to grasp the basics. Documentary producing and directing by filmmakers requires a nuanced sense of their rights and obligations. How best to get the most out of pre-production and shoot in order to maximise the creative outcomes for a film.

During this course, you will develop professional standards whilst making you own documentary. You will produce and direct your own documentary film (five minutes in length) and screen it at the end of the six-week program. You’ll also learn how to master your production equipment for best results, including cameras, microphones and editing software. The knowledge and skills gained from this program can be adopted to corporate video production.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • produce your own quality documentary
  • prepare for and shoot a documentary interview
  • shoot B roll
  • shoot observational footage
  • source documentary talent
  • edit digital video into a visual story
  • produce to completion a five minute micro-documentary.



  • Documentary history and appreciation


  • Sourcing talent
  • Finding a story
  • Finding the audience
  • Research
  • Ethnographic study principals
  • Modes of documentary
  • Planning documentary shoot days


  • Interview technique
  • Camera operation for documentary
  • Creating engaging B Roll
  • Sound recording
  • Basic lighting


  • Editing theory
  • Editing process for documentary
  • Exhibition

Knowledge outcomes

  • Documentary producing ethics and principals
  • Documentary production styles and techniques
  • Interview technique and strategy
  • Documentary production process management
  • Sourcing talent and story considerations

Skill outcomes

  • Camera operation
  • Sound recording
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Logistics of documentary film production
  • Video editing process
  • Mastering of videos for online and cinema delivery

Delivery style

Delivered in consultative group sessions over a six weekly, 3-hour online sessions. These sessions include presentations, demonstrations, discussions, and the screenings of documentary films. Importantly, this program is consultative and you will receive feedback each week on the progress of your documentary film. Films will be produced outside of class time.

Before the course

You do not need to purchase equipment before the commencement of this course. Advice and consultation will be given during the first session for those who are unsure of what equipment is needed. As a guide, and for best results, it is recommended that you have access to the following equipment:

  • camera or DSLR with video capability
  • lapel microphone
  • tripod
  • laptop computer (both Apple and PC platforms are suitable)
  • Adobe Premiere Pro software for video editing (or similar).

You may also wish to use your smartphone as a substitute to a camera or DSLR; this is fine and will enable production.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

What others say.

  • It was fun learning and interacting with both the class and teacher. The teacher was very knowledgeable and interesting, and I was intrigued with the way the teacher presented the subject. I feel I’ve grown and look forward to continuing my education.

  • I found this presenter to be a very good teacher who is passionate about what is taught and was very formative – explaining and delivering the course in a well structured, productive, fun and enjoyable class. I always wanted to learn about film and I am so glad that you ran this course, as a friend and I travelled a distance from the western suburbs and the central coast to attend this course. Thank you.

Documentary Course: Introduction to Producing and Directing

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What others say.

  • The course was great and the teacher terrific - taught from a wealth of knowledge and practical experience. I really enjoyed it.
  • Antony is an engaging and supportive teacher. Really enjoyed the course!
  • Antony was such an inspiring teacher. He brought my passion for documentary and film making to a new level and gave us enough confidence to stand on our own feet. The course focuses on history and appreciation of great producers and directors. Lots of theory in class will get you ready to go out and shoot a documentary on your own. Great value overall.
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